HFSS restrictions from January 2023

25th June 2021

The government confirms a pre 21:00 ban on HFSS foods from January 2023.

The government has confirmed its intention to restrict advertising for foods high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS) to post 9pm on TV and On-Demand Programme Services.

At the moment HFSS ads appear around programming before 9 pm that does not attract a specific child audience. The restrictions mean that after January 2023 HFSS ads will no longer be allowed to be shown before 9 pm – no matter the type of programming or typical audience age. The restrictions will be introduced through new legislation in the form of the Health and Care Bill.

How food and drinks will be measured will stay the same – using the current Nutritional Profile Model – although there will be some foods exempt from the restrictions (to be confirmed at a later date). Further exemptions from the restrictions include HFSS advertising from SMEs with 249 employees or fewer (measured from the first day of a financial year) and brand advertising that does not highlight specific HFSS products.

The Government intends to appoint Ofcom as the statutory regulator with the expectation that the ASA will be appointed to regulate the restrictions on a day to day basis.

Given the new legislation is yet to be introduced, there will be no immediate change to how Clearcast clears HFSS food advertising.

The intention is to introduce these extra restrictions alongside new restrictions for paid-for online advertising.

Clearcast will be watching closely as this matter progresses and aims to work closely with broadcasters, agencies and advertisers to establish what training might be needed and to ensure a smooth transition for both the linear and on-demand advertising we currently clear and advise on.

More details of the government’s proposals can be found here

If you have any questions about this news or anything else, email us here.